By Ozzy Alaba
MANILA -- And the cast is now finally complete.
China, Taiwan, Europe, and defending champions South Korea successfully advanced to the 2018 Mid Season Invitational (MSI) Playoffs as their representatives filled in the four playoff slots in the final day of the Group Stages at the Riot European Studios in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday evening (Philippine time).
Despite having a horror start in the tournament, China's Royal Never Give Up (RNG) bounced back in the right time as they secured the top seed in the playoffs through a dominant 29-minute win against Taiwan's Flash Wolves (FW) in the tiebreaker match, thus finishing the Groups with a 7-3 slate.
FW, meanwhile, even though their perfect 6-0 record was tarnished through a disappointing 0-2 in Day 4, still kept their redemption hopes alive through their surprising second place-finish (7-3), including a shocking 27-minute drubbing of back-to-back LCK champions Kingzone DragonX (KZ) in Day 5.
|Taiwan's Flash Wolves (on picture) takes a bow after defeating Korea's Kingzone DragonX.|
KZ, who rejected Vietnam's EVOS eSports (EVS) a playoff spot, settles at third place with a dismal 6-4 record, with substitute jungler Moon (Cuzz) Woo-chan playing in the final 3 games of the six-man squad in Groups in place of starting jungler Han (Peanut) Wang-ho.
Europe's Fnatic (FNC) also played the gatekeeper side as they denied regional rivals North America a playoff seed for the second consecutive year in spite of finishing Groups with a 4-6 card, reigning supreme in the fourth place tiebreaker against the latter's delegate, Team Liquid (TL).
Furthermore, TL and EVS ended their MSI conquest with a 4-6 and a Main Stage-low 2-8 record, respectively.
With this, RNG will face FNC, and KZ will battle FW in the semifinals on Friday and Saturday at the Le Zénith Theater in Paris, France. TL and EVS, on the other hand, will finish their campaign in 5th/6th place and will bag $50,000.
|The official bracketing of the 2018 Mid Season Invitational (MSI) Playoffs. Leaguepedia|